Scope and arrangement
Designs make up the better portion of this collection. From initial pencil sketches to large-scale watercolors, original designs are not only beautiful but show Zipprodt’s evolution as a designer. The costume bibles contain a wealth of information about how the designs were executed and the day-to-day realities of translating a concept into an actor’s garment. Thorough script readings and research provide a launching pad for each production’s designs, and photographs (both prints and slides) show its fruition. Zipprodt’s correspondence and professional papers (awards, biographies, contracts & invoices, teaching materials, and theses/student papers about Zipprodt) give an impression of her career outside the costume shop. Clippings and programs provide production information beyond Zipprodt’s contributions. There is very little of a personal nature in the collection outside of appointment books, school papers, and vital records.
The Patricia Zipprodt papers and designs are arranged in eleven series:
- 1943 - 19992 boxes
Patricia Zipprodt’s correspondence covers a fairly large time span, but consists of very few items in total. Among her correspondents, notables include Joel Grey, Harold Prince and Jerome Robbins. There are also four folders of letters from Zipprodt.
- 1925 - 19952 boxes
This series includes appointment books from 1985 to 1995, and papers from Zipprodt’s childhood and college career. It also contains vital records such as birth certificates and passports.
- , 1925-1999; undated5 boxes
Professional Papers contain documents not directly related to Zipprodt’s creative work on specific productions. Both the Biographies and Theses series provide helpful summaries and analyses of Zipprodt’s career. Teaching Materials includes Zipprodt’s notes as well as photographs of her and other’s designs that were used as classroom examples. Contracts and Invoices illuminate the financial side of her work, while Awards and Professional Recognitions includes a variety of honors from throughout her career.
- 1951 - 19941 box
Roughly half the scripts in this series were never produced. Of special not is an early version of a Fiddler on the Roof script with its original name, Tevye.
- 1949 - 19991 box
This series includes clippings about specific shows, and about Zipprodt herself including her career and her style.
- 1957 - 19981 box
The programs span productions throughout Zipprodt’s extensive career, though very few are inscribed or annotated in any way.
- 1954 - 199920 boxes
Photographs are in both print and slide formats. Most photographs are of either the performances themselves or of costume sketches. Also included are photographs of Zipprodt herself, images used for research and images of costume fittings.
- 1966 - 199517 boxes
Zipprodt was known for her thorough research. The research itself was color-coded, specifying whether it was research for a particular show, time period, or subject area. Research includes color and black and white photocopies, photographs, notes and a few rough sketches.
- 1965 - 199724 boxes
In general, the costume bibles are wonderfully complete and well organized. They include photographs, sketches, swatches, schedules, and notes. When Zipprodt sent a bible on to international companies, or worked on a revival of a show she’d previously designed, she would often renumber or annotate her original bible. The Leaves Are Fading (1975) bible is of special interest as it exemplifies and explains her fabric painting techniques. Particularly thorough bibles include: Fiddler on the Roof (1964), My Fair Lady (1994), Pippin (1972), Sunday in the Park With George (1984), and Sweet Charity(1987).
- 1959 - 199750 boxes
The Designs series is the heart of the collection. It includes initial pencil sketches and painted designs. There is some overlap with the costume bible series in that some designs have swatches attached or other notes. Broadly, if it is an individual piece and large format, it is in the design series. This series includes two versions of The Crucible, designed over 30 years apart (1959 and 1991). Also of interest are the original designs for Cabaret (1966), Fiddler on the Roof(1964), The Leaves are Fading (1975), and Shogun (1990).
- 1957 - 19886 boxes
The oversized materials are arranged to mirror the organization of the rest of the collection, the only difference is the larger format. It includes two complete costume bibles from the productions Alice in Wonderland (1982) and Cabaret (1966; 1987-1988).